How to Collect Yoyos

Autograph collecting is a natural extension of collecting memorabilia especially when the memorabilia has an association with certain individuals.

Why do people collect autographs?

Many people ask me how to collect YoYos. Then they ask why. Well, largely because it is fun memory of a meeting of an individual at a particular point in time or event. Additionally collecting autographs on yo-yo memorabilia can increase their value. Most notable example would be the Nixon Autographed Yo-Yo which is the highest price ever paid for a yo-yo at $16, 029.00.I can assure you that the price was so high not because of the yo-yo having any intrinsic value, it was the circumstance of which President Nixon autographed the yo-yo. Most autographed yo-yos and other pieces of yo-yo memorabilia will not have any immediate appreciable increase in value but there are exceptions. For most though, the collection of an autograph on a yo-yo is just a fun side of collecting and getting to know people.

What kind of items does a person look for in getting autographed?

When I’m talking to people about how to collect yoyos, people ask what items should they look out for. Well obviously, yo-yos would be the most typical but there are other items that are commonly autographed, such as books, contest flyers, trading cards, videos and contest posters. Contest posters are especially popular at large events such Nationals or Worlds in that you can generally pick up a number of top players and personalities in the Yo-Yo World all on one interesting piece and this is certainly a nice way to display all the signatures.

Whose autographs do people look for?

Well, it could be any personality in the Yo-Yo World. Demonstrators are asked for their autographs most often. Others include world record holders, past champions, authors of books and publications on yo-yos, company owners, yo-yo designers and the list goes on.

Where do you meet these people?

The easiest way to find people is at the large events such as World Championships, National Championships, etc. Even local events often times will have celebrity judges who are demonstrators or World record holders. If you cannot make it to events you can still request signatures through the mail. If you are going to request signatures in the mail, make sure you enclose a self addressed stamped envelope. I would suggest if you are going to send some valuable piece of memorabilia that you request a signature, that you contact the individual first, so they know to expect it, and to make sure that they would be willing to give you a signature on the item. Be clear in writing where you would like the item signed and it’s not a bad idea to enclose the pen or marker to be used. You want to make the signing process as easy as possible for the signer. Again, make sure you enclose proper return packaging, mailing label and postage for the return of the item to you.

Where should a yo-yo be signed?

There is no standard place for an autograph to be placed on a yo-yo. My favorite position is having the person sign along the front of the rim on the front face so as you display the yo-yo the signature is easily seen. Use a permanent marker that is a contrasting color to the paint on the yo-yo. If there is not a large logo on the face of the yo-yo, the signature can go directly across the face. Although most people in the Yo-Yo Community are friendly, and happy to sign autographs, you may find some individuals that are reluctant to sign. I must impress upon you not to force the issue. Be gracious whether they accept or decline your request. There are definitely times when you should not ask an individual for an autograph. For instance, judges that are actively judging should not be distracted and competitors immediately before their competition are usually concentrating on their routine and find this distracting. Finally, it is generally considered impolite to ask individuals for souvenirs such as yo-yos, etc., unless they are giving them away as a part of a promotion. Below is a list of a variety of personalities in the Yo-Yo World that you might be interested in having their signature on a yo-yo or other piece of memorabilia. Some individuals are closely associated with certain yo-yos, etc., and I have tried to list some of the items that would be nice to have their signature on to help the new collector. If you see somebody that you think should be listed email me and tell me why and what item it would be cool to have there autograph on and we may add his or her name to the list.

Good luck with your hunt!

Alan Amaral

President Yomega (any Yomega yo-yo, #1975 is the ultimate)


Alan Batangan 1999 National Champion
Jennifer Baybrook 1997 National and 1998 World Champion (Logo yo-yos, 3-D trading cards)
Dale Bell President YoyoJam (any YoyoJam yo-yo)
Steve Brown demonstrator, father of “off hand play”, (Logo yo-yo)
Mike Caffrey demonstrator, inventor of the Yomega auto-return mechanism
Marie Cariliao president of Yobonic(any Yobonic yo-yo)
Cliff Coleman demonstrator
Chris Cook author
Bud Countryman President of Hummingbird and BC (any Hummingbird or BC yo-yo)
Ryan Carver 1993 National Champion (#1079)
Bill Crest President American Spinners (#135)
Stewart Crump author, AYYA editor (book #1929, #1922)
Bill DeBoisblanc multiple World Champion & National Champion
Arne Dixon President SuperYo (any SuperYo)
Don Duncan, Jr. Past president Duncan Toys, Past President Playmaxx
Alex Garcia 1998 National Champion (Trading cards #405)
Al Gall President of National (any National yo-yo ultimate is #1151)
Jon Gates Demonstrator (Logo Yo-Yo)
Greg Hart Toy Designer (#1605.1)
John Higby demonstrator (logo yo-yos)
Tom Kuhn Yo-yo manufacturer (any Tom Kuhn yo-yo)
Harvey Lowe 1932 World Champion
Bud Lutz former demonstrator
George Malko author (book #1930)
Bob Malowney Nationals director (any Bird in Hand yo-yo #144)
Bunny Martin demonstrator (logo yo-yo #1601)
Dennis McBride demonstrator (Logo yo-yo #730)
Mark McBride author, demonstrator
Fast Eddy McDonald world record holder (logo yo-yo)
Lucky Meisenheimer author
Kate Miller Demonstrator (logo yo-yo)
Dale Myrberg 1996 World Champion (logo yo-yo #731)
Takumi Nagase 1999 World Champion
Dale Oliver demonstrator, World Champion, company owner(#1141)
Ross Olney demonstrator ( book #1928.1)
Brett Outchcunis demonstrator
Rick Osborne demonstrator
Tom Parks demonstrator
Doctor Popular demonstrator (Logo Yo-Yo)
Tom Radovan Modern Royal yo-yos
Bob Rule demonstrator Trick book #1934, Logo yo-yos
Jack Russell President of Russell (any Russell yo-yo)
Larry Sayco Sayegh President Sayco (#1218)
Dave Schulte demonstrator, trade cards
Linda Sengpiel demonstrator, Trick book #1928, set #1736, yo-yo #745, trading card, YoyoJam Logo yo-yo
Chuck Short demonstrator (Logo Yo-Yo)
Tommy Smothers entertainer (any Smothers Brothers Logo yo-yo)
John Stangle President AYYA, demonstrator (Yotopia Yo-Yo)
Dick Stor demonstrator
Jason Tracey demonstrator
Kitamura Tomoya 2000 world champion
Hans Van Dan Elzen demonstrator (Logo Yo-Yo)
Dan Volk demonstrator
Don Watson inventor, author
Rick Wyatt world record holder, (Logo Yo-Yo)
Rocco Ysaguire 1993 world champion
Helane Zeiger author (#1932)